One common recurring theme from any US election is how important it is to vote. And in some corners your “very life” may depend on the outcome. Now of course that’s a bit of melodrama to say the least. As many years as I lived in the US, my day to day life was more or less the same whether a Republican or Democrat was in office. Even in today’s more polarising times when I holiday in the States unless there’s a political discussion being had I find the food tastes the same. And my passion for unfrosted Strawberry Pop Tarts doesn’t waver. Long story there. I might add there seems to be more banter and excitement over the upcoming election from my Australian colleagues. I liken it to the twin combinations of amusement and “horror” over how things unfold in America.
Big Tech and the Election
Employees of many of the biggest tech companies appear to be backing Joe Biden over Donald Trump in the upcoming election. According to an article in Wired magazine, employees at companies such as Alphabet (Google), Apple, Facebook have donated nearly 20x more to Biden than they have Trump. That covers off the heavy hitters in the Silicon Valley. Although it was noted employees of Oracle seem to favor Trump more than Biden. Could that be the influence of company founder Larry Ellison? Someone who qualifies as a legendary “Alpha Male”. And from my home turf of Seattle, employees at Amazon and Microsoft also appear to heavily favor Biden.It’s a disparity of $6.7 million to $336K. That information comes from the Federal Election Commission. One wonders how that impacts and influences society? Certainly in the case of a Facebook where you may be likely to see a number of political ads. Either conservative or liberal leaning.
Reflecting on social media
I briefly referenced political ads on Facebook. But you also see political ads and partisan advocacy being played on on social media platforms such as Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.
The daily sparring one witnesses when viewing these platforms is both amusing and at times shocking to the senses. I myself may inject a bit of political opinion and commentary on certain subjects. But I err on the side of caution and tend to play it safe. Although one of my rather cheeky comments on Instagram did garner 850+ “Likes” and over 50 replies. Hey even I have a sense of humour.
The effects of misinformation (i.e Fake News!)
Fake news and misinformation does still spread freely. The multitudes of fake accounts are still being taken down. But it’s hard to quantify the actual percentage that continues to operate. Meanwhile the same principles power the news feed algorithms surfacing partisan content and re-establishing audience biases. But I’m guessing it’s fair to say at this point most of the American populace has made up its mind. A diehard Trump supporter is not likely to jump ship, nor would a Biden devotee. In many cases jumping ship would probably cost you a lot of friends. Due to the volatile nature of politics in recent times. A major contrast from the typical political discussion in Australia, the levels of polarisation are not so stark here. Although it does exist.
I’ll continue to have a further look at the US Election in the next week. In addition I will be providing a review of an exciting social media VR (Virtual Reality) platform that I came across a couple weeks ago. But what are your initial thoughts on the election? Have you made up your mind? Or even further to the point of the article has something occurred in the digital world that’s influenced your decision at the last minute?